WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Supporting members of the U.S. military, veterans and their families is an important part of the mission of the American Red Cross, and MGM Resorts International, University of Phoenix®, and now Pantry/Kangaroo Express, help that important effort through the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Giving Program.
This program was started in May 2012, coinciding with Armed Forces Day May 18, when America honors and recognizes the critical contributions of our nation's service members. Members of the SAF Giving Program are corporations and foundations that make an annual commitment to support Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.
"We are incredibly thankful to the University of Phoenix and MGM Resorts for their continued contributions to the SAF Giving Program and welcome Kangaroo Express in its commitment to supporting our work with the military community," said Sherri Brown, senior vice president of Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. "The Red Cross helps thousands of service members, veterans and their families each year and the generous support of these organizations helps to ensure the Red Cross will be there for our military for years to come."
Kangaroo Express is the latest organization to join the Red Cross' military support mission through the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Giving Program. This summer, customers shopping at Kangaroo Express will have the opportunity to give back through a customer donation program helping to provide continued Red Cross services to America's military families. Kangaroo Express is the leading independently operated convenience store chain in southeastern United States, operated by The Pantry, Inc.
"Considering more than one-third of our employees have a direct connection to the military, supporting our troops is supporting our family," said Gordon Schmidt, senior vice president of Operations, Kangaroo Express. "This summer, our guests and associates will rally together for the fourth annual Kangaroo Express Salute Our Troops campaign to raise funds for dedicated military support organizations like the American Red Cross' Service to the Armed Forces. It is through these organizations that we are able to help support our military families when they need it most."
MGM Resorts is supporting the "Boots to Business" program, which, in partnership with the Red Cross, provides pre-employment support services and management training to prepare veterans for managerial positions with MGM Resorts. "Boots to Business" also provides deployment support for current MGM employees who are called to duty, as well as ongoing assistance in the form of mentoring and networking.
"As a longstanding supporter of our nation's military personnel, our company is proud to partner with the American Red Cross as a member of the Service to the Armed Forces Giving Program," said Michelle DiTondo, senior vice president of Human Resources for MGM Resorts International. "Participation in this program is one of the ways we show appreciation to our veterans and their families for their service and many sacrifices. You can never tell veterans 'Thank you' enough, but through this program and others, we certainly try."
University of Phoenix has extended their commitment to supporting SAF programs and services, along with the entire Red Cross mission. One way the University is working with the Red Cross is through participating in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes, an annual opportunity for the University's students, alumni, faculty and staff to send cards of thanks to military members during the holidays.
"University of Phoenix is excited to continue our partnership with the American Red Cross through the Service to the Armed Forces Giving Program," said University of Phoenix Military Relations Vice Present and retired Army Colonel Garland Williams. "This program allows the University to support various Red Cross programs throughout the year to provide active duty service members and military families worldwide access to valuable resources in times of need."
With help from these key partners, the Red Cross is connecting military families with resources in their communities every day. Thanks to University of Phoenix, Kangaroo Express and MGM Resorts International, the Red Cross ensures that military members, veterans and their families get the support they need at every stage of military life.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.
About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA resort and casino. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com.
The Pantry's Kangaroo Express® convenience stores meet the daily food and fuel shopping needs of guests. As of May 1, 2014, the Company operated 1,534 stores in thirteen states under select banners, including its primary operating banner Kangaroo Express. The Pantry is one of the nation's largest convenience store chains and the leading independently operated chain in the southeastern United States. The Pantry is headquartered in Cary, N.C. For more information, visit www.thepantry.com.
Kangaroo Express offers hot and cold beverages, snacks, fresh foods, gasoline and a wide assortment of merchandise and services for guests' on-the-go lifestyles. It is home to more than 220 foodservice restaurants, including Dairy Queen, Little Caesars and Subway. Kangaroo Express associates are committed to providing store guests with the fastest, friendliest and cleanest shopping experience.
With more than half of its stores located within 25 miles of a military installation, Kangaroo Express has supported the military and their families for many years, including raising millions of dollars each year for military support organizations as part of its summer-long Salute Our Troops® fundraising campaign. For more information, visit www.kangarooexpress.com or visit us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross